Ben Barres was known for his groundbreaking scientific work and for his groundbreaking advocacy for gender equality in science. In this book, completed shortly before his death from pancreatic cancer in December 2017, Barres (born Barbara Barres in 1954) describes a life full of remarkable accomplishments-from his childhood as a precocious math and science whiz to his experiences as a female student at MIT in the 1970s to his female-to-male transition in his forties, to his scientific work and role as teacher and mentor at Stanford. Barres recounts his early life-his interest in science, first manifested as a fascination with the mad scientist in Superman; his academic successes; and his gender confusion. Barres felt even as a very young child that he was assigned the wrong gender. After years of being acutely uncomfortable in his own skin, Barres transitioned from female to male.
As an undergraduate at MIT, Barres experienced discrimination, but it was after transitioning that he realized how differently male and female scientists are treated. This led him to become an advocate for gender equality in science.
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"Dr. Barres's autobiography is a straightforward account of the life of one of the leading neuroscientists of our time who happened to be transgender. The audiobook has three themes: the discovery of the importance of a distinct type of brain cell and the promise it holds for understanding a wide range of debilitating conditions, gender discrimination within the scientific community, and the transition of Barbara to Ben at age 43. Narrator Paul Boehmer expresses little emotion as he describes the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer that drove Barres to want to finish telling his story before he died. Boehmer quietly reflects Barres's intensity for his research and the event that led to his transition and unique perspective on gender discrimination. J.E.M. © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine"
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